International Correspondence Writing Month (InCoWriMo) is a commitment to write a letter every day for the month of February. Hand delivered or sent in the mail doesn’t matter, so long as it’s written by hand. It’s great practice for your hand writing, calligraphy, lettering, and any other written word arts, and a perfect excuse to bring out a wax seal!
The easiest way to explain is to watch this video on YouTube!
A butane torch is recommended for melting wax. The most important feature is a jet of flame that can go sideways – if the flame only goes straight up, wax can drip onto your lighter and make a mess (maybe ruin the lighter!), but with a sideways flame it can drip cleanly where you want it to go. I’ve found the best torch is one found in Home Depot in the Tools section, it’s a Benzomatic brand with a gooseneck like a barbecue lighter.
You can also use the type of torch normally used for finishing creme brulee or brazing plumbing, however these can have a very large flame that is more difficult to control. Torch-type cigar lighters also will work, but they may overheat more quickly.
Always use caution to avoid burns from flame or hot wax. Children require adult supervision. Always remove signet rings from your hand before using to make an impression. The ring will get hot, and wax can come around the sides to contact skin directly.
After dripping the hot wax on your document or envelope, stir the puddle a bit with the hot end of the stick. This is to shape the puddle, remove bubbles, and make the color more uniform (especially for metallic colors). You want to let the wax get just a little tacky before impressing it with a seal. For best results, moisten your seal slightly before pressing it into hot wax. If the seal is cold, breathing on it like you are cleaning a pair of reading glasses should be enough.
The hot end of the wax stick will be hot for up to one minute after making a seal . For best results, have a smooth ceramic or metal surface to rest it on while setting your seal. Aluminum foil usually peels off pretty well too.
Your seal or ring will also be very hot – place this on a heat resistant surface for at least a minute before touching the business end. If you are making many impressions in a short period of time, you may cool the seal on an ice cube – just be sure to dry it very thoroughly before using it again.